Leading clinician and Health Minister Lord Darzi today issued five pledges to the public and staff on how the NHS will handle changes to services. He set out a rigorous process requiring any change to be transparent, clinically evidenced, locally led and for the benefit of patients.
Lord Darzi's report "Leading Local Change" comes ahead of his final report on the next stage of NHS reform.
This new report, aimed at the public, patients and staff, signals that while the NHS must never back away from necessary change to improve services and save lives, there should be important checks which any change has to undergo before it proceeds. PCTs will have a duty to have regard to the following five pledges on change:
Lord Darzi said: "This is not about change for change's sake. It's about change for the right reasons, improving quality of care for patients and saving lives. These pledges mean change will be locally-led, clinically-driven and evidence-based. And an independent high clinical bar for change should reassure local people everywhere that we mean what we say."
"The right way of doing this is to put local clinicians in the lead, with the public and relevant independent experts consulted and involved at an early stage. Ensuring that changes are based on the strongest clinical evidence and are relevant to their local communities. The role of national bodies has to be to support local clinicians with the best evidence.
"Empowered patients and empowered staff are the key to world-class standards."
What do you think of Lord Darzi's rules for changes? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"They frighten me to death! We've experienced 'engagement' 'consultation' and 'improvement' and the results do not appear to be empowered patients, empowered staff or an improvement in the quality of service. It has more to do with cuts in service, furious patients and demoralised staff." – Name and address supplied
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